It’s Heating Up Out There
By Tricia of Allsup
Have you seen local news stories where they show cookies baking in a car or eggs frying on a sidewalk? The on-air illustrations seem to come out of the woodwork with summer weather reaches a certain point.
A ridge of high pressure has dominated America’s weather picture for most of July, and most of the country will experience hot summer weather until the middle to end of September.
For anyone with chronic or severe health conditions, summer heat means extra precautions, even on days when the heat index isn’t over 100 degrees. (The heat index, according to the National Weather Service, is how the air feels when the temperature is combined with the relative humidity.)
The American Red Cross outlines different advisory levels and offers tips to prepare your home and family for conditions of excessive heat. Here’s what it means:
- Heat advisory – Heat index values are expected to meet locally defined advisory criteria for one to two days, usually daytime highs of 100 to 105 degrees or higher.
- Excessive heat watch – When conditions are favorable for experiencing an excessive heat warning in the next 24 to 72 hours.
- Excessive heat warning – When conditions are forecast to meet or exceed the advisory criteria for two days or longer.
Many communities offer shelters for individuals who do not have air conditioning. Check your local media or contact United Way’s 211 telephone hotline to locate cooling centers in your community.
If you have a chronic or severe health condition or are caring for someone who does, there are resources available to you.
Some helpful links:
- Heat Wave Safety Checklist – American Red Cross (PDF): http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/HeatWave.pdf
- Heat: A Major Killer – National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov/om/heat/index.shtml#heat
- Extreme Heat – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/
Stay safe in the summer heat, and don’t take unnecessary risks. Soon enough, a lot of us will be worried about removing snow from the driveway.